Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Chemistry in General » Company is extracting phosphates from urine for crops Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum

Author: Subject: Company is extracting phosphates from urine for crops
symboom
International Hazard

Posts: 1055
Registered: 11-11-2010
Location: Wrongplanet
Member Is Offline

Mood: Doing science while it is still legal since 2010

Company is extracting phosphates from urine for crops

people are thinking like mad scientist when they are desperate for phosphates for farming

Phosphorus is essential for growing crops, but global reserves are shrinking fast. Now researchers are looking for ways to recycle the valuable mineral — by harvesting human urine.

The mobile plant processes pee into liquid fertilizer and distilled water. Once human business has been collected in a steel tank next to the urinal, bacteria and algae are added to turn the solid excrement into sludge, while the wastewater is purified — by up to 90% — to eliminate pollutants, germs and unpleasant odors.

Magnesium oxide is then added to bind the phosphorus, leading to the formation of magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP) — also known as struvite. Any residues from medications are filtered out with activated carbon.

[Edited on 4-5-2020 by symboom]

[Edited on 4-5-2020 by symboom]

G-Coupled
National Hazard

Posts: 287
Registered: 9-3-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: Slightly triturated

They're obviously taking the piss.

I'll let myself out...
SWIM
International Hazard

Posts: 718
Registered: 3-9-2017
Location: 26 Ancho street
Member Is Offline

Mood: Like a guy who fell off a 10 story building and yells, "So far, so good" all the way down.

In my garden I just apply it directly.

At least in the back yard.

This thread makes me think of that Anthony Burgess novel, The Wanting Seed.

It was a nice Pelphase while it lasted.

New years' eve I had a shot of Fluorine-18 and spent the evening radiating antimatter.

(Not as cool as it sounds)

brubei
Hazard to Others

Posts: 160
Registered: 8-3-2015
Location: France
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

Problem with mining phophorus, lets mine magnesium !

[Edited on 5-5-2020 by brubei]

I'm French so excuse my language
karlos³
International Hazard

Posts: 1035
Registered: 10-1-2011
Location: yes!
Member Is Offline

Mood: verrückt & wissenschaftlich

Copenhagen1968
Harmless

Posts: 9
Registered: 11-2-2020
Location: Denmark, Roskilde
Member Is Offline

 Quote: Originally posted by symboom The mobile plant processes pee into liquid fertilizer and distilled water. Once human business has been collected in a steel tank next to the urinal, [...]

Huh?
why not place the plant close to the source AND the recipient? In Danmark there are 5.6M people; there are 12.9M pigs + 1.5M cows just pissing away, and they dont move much. That would make more sense businesswise instead of mobile factories.

Secondly, using human waste for food production has a bad ring to it, in my mind. The risk of infections are too big.
draculic acid69
International Hazard

Posts: 992
Registered: 2-8-2018
Member Is Offline

 Quote: Originally posted by G-Coupled They're obviously taking the piss. I'll let myself out...

Haha
Nice one.
draculic acid69
International Hazard

Posts: 992
Registered: 2-8-2018
Member Is Offline

I'm surprised that there not already doing this at sewage treatment plants.
I've seen a YouTube video about phosphorus mining in China and there ripping up panda habitat to get it out and it creates toxic runoff that's just soaking back into the land. That country is fucking itself just to be the centre of industry. It won't last but the pollution will.
zwt2
Harmless

Posts: 13
Registered: 3-9-2019
Member Is Offline

Mood: mango mango mango mango mangooooo

Some sewage plants have been doing this for years, but it's mainly to limit the amount of phosphorus in runoff entering the waterways. It's not yet economical to recover the phosphorus purely for resale. When it is, it'll be a Brave New World:

 Quote: "Phosphorus recovery," explained Henry telegraphically. "On their way up the chimney the gases go through four separate treatments. P2O5 used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated some one. Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse.

"Since you belong to the small number of wise men, tell me, pray, how do you occupy yourselves?"
G-Coupled
National Hazard

Posts: 287
Registered: 9-3-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: Slightly triturated

Quote: Originally posted by zwt2
Some sewage plants have been doing this for years, but it's mainly to limit the amount of phosphorus in runoff entering the waterways. It's not yet economical to recover the phosphorus purely for resale. When it is, it'll be a Brave New World:

 Quote: "Phosphorus recovery," explained Henry telegraphically. "On their way up the chimney the gases go through four separate treatments. P2O5 used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated some one. Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse.

Wow - in the past, in summertime, I'd bet there grew some lovely fat flowers downwind of those crematoria....

[Edited on 5-5-2020 by G-Coupled]
RogueRose
International Hazard

Posts: 1529
Registered: 16-6-2014
Member Is Offline

I ran the numbers a while back and calculated the average daily excretion of phosphorus and urea for humans and averaged it with the US population. I found that there was about 600 million $of phosphorus excreted yearly by the US in waste streams and about double that in nitrogen (using bulk tonnage rates of Urea and phosphorus fertilizers - both about$450/ton) Adding in the processing of the waste/water & cost of the water used with each flush came out to a total of \$2.4 billion a year flushed down the toilet. That is for a population of 330 million.

If both the P & N can be extracted from the waste, it would probably be worth it b/c phosphate mining is one of the most harmful practices and there are few locations and reserves globally. I think Florida is a large source but it's locked up in a calcium phosphate and a very large by product from the production is CaSO4, but for some reason all this sulfate is radio active and can't be used normally and IIRC, has to be stockpiled or used as a filling, so it's all pretty much waste (hazardous at that).

I could dig up the amounts if anyone is really interested, they are in a spreadsheet somewhere
RogueRose
International Hazard

Posts: 1529
Registered: 16-6-2014
Member Is Offline

Quote: Originally posted by G-Coupled
Quote: Originally posted by zwt2
Some sewage plants have been doing this for years, but it's mainly to limit the amount of phosphorus in runoff entering the waterways. It's not yet economical to recover the phosphorus purely for resale. When it is, it'll be a Brave New World:

 Quote: "Phosphorus recovery," explained Henry telegraphically. "On their way up the chimney the gases go through four separate treatments. P2O5 used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated some one. Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse.

Wow - in the past, in summertime, I'd bet there grew some lovely fat flowers downwind of those crematoria....
[Edited on 5-5-2020 by G-Coupled]

I have to really question if it is 3lbs of P2O5, which is 36% P by weight, so over a pound of P per body. That seems very high, unless there might be some in the fuel they use, like wood maybe?? I don't know that wood even had much P in it though. This seems high, though I did check the compostion of the human body and it says 1% P by weight, 1.5% Ca and .4% K. I have a hard time seeing calcium being only 50% more than P with all the bone mass. I wonder where all the phosphorus comes from and where it is used in the body?

[Edited on 5-6-2020 by RogueRose]
G-Coupled
National Hazard

Posts: 287
Registered: 9-3-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: Slightly triturated

 Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose ... have a hard time seeing calcium being only 50% more than P with all the bone mass. I wonder where all the phosphorus comes from and where it is used in the body?

ATP? Does that constitute a fair amount, possibly?
B(a)P
International Hazard

Posts: 568
Registered: 29-9-2019
Member Is Offline

Mood: Confined

Phosphate group nucleotides would make up a fair bit I would think.
Tsjerk
International Hazard

Posts: 2338
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Netherlands
Member Is Offline

Mood: Mood

Phosphate is in bones, metabolites, proteins, sugars, DNA... about anywhere.

Crematoria use gas, not wood.

If the human body contains 1% P, I get to 2.2 Kg of P2O5 for a 80 Kg human.

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Chemistry in General » Company is extracting phosphates from urine for crops Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Detritus   » Test Forum